Iyke Ndubuisi is sure of what he wants and he goes for it. He faced initial disapproval from family and friends when he quit his banking job to become an actor; taking on numerous roles until he got his big break playing a Psychotic in a movie which is making waves in international film festivals around the world.
I have taken up roles ranging from lawyer, doctor, senator, father, priest, titled chief, human trafficker, detective, CEO, psychotic, school principal, business man, police officer etc. I have also had the pleasure of working with some of Nollywood’s outstanding producers and directors like Tope Oshin, Uche Jombo, Adeyinka Oduniyi, Chris Eneagi, Nodash, Senator, Funke Akindele, Mary Njoku, Dr. Emeka Henry Obidi, Emem Isong, Sunom Kura, Lanre Oliyide, Seyi Babatope, Tosin Coker, Ashvin Meshram, Ben Chiadika, Charles Idonigie to mention a few and honestly they have all impacted my career tremendously!
On his ideal acting character, he explains,
‘Well, to be honest, there is really no ideal character. To be a successful actor, you should focus on being versatile. The more versatile you are, the more sought after you would be. Because there are quite a number of actors who are stereotyped for a particular role and it limits them because when producers are looking for people who want to play different roles, they don’t go near them, because they already know this is what this person likes to do. So if you are versatile, if you can play the role of a drunk or priest or any kind of role, it makes you a better actor. You get recognised and of course, you get more jobs, more money and fame. So I don’t have an ideal character but I also have my limits to be honest. I cannot go to the extreme in certain roles. I don’t want to be specific, but there are certain things I cannot go to the extreme on. I like to be modest and professional. Most importantly I like to deliver on any character I am given. If you give me a script and I like it, I will deliver on it.’
As regards actors diversifying into things like movie production, directing as well as script writing, Ndubuisi thinks it is very important.
‘I would like to use myself as an example and the benefits I’ve gained from going that way,’ he says. ‘I recently rounded up a film making training with a film school in Nigeria called Phillips College of Technology. It is a monotechnic actually. I actually went in there to brush up my acting skills. I was also given an opportunity to focus on production management, directing and editing. So as I speak with you, I can actually produce a movie from beginning to end. So, I am no longer just an actor. I could also play the role of production manager, I can direct a movie because we were all given an opportunity to shoot a 15 minute short film. We were grouped into a group of 10 comprising 5 each. And we were all given equipment to carry out the project. It’s been a wonderful experience. I think actors should also look at that and it means multiple streams of income. So if you are not getting acting jobs, you are getting jobs as a director or production manager or editor, so it is a good idea.